INCOMPAS: Net Neutrality is Essential to Competition, Streaming Revolution and Small Biz Recovery
In Reply Comments to FCC, INCOMPAS Warns Lack of Broadband Competition Spells Trouble for Small Businesses and Public Safety Orgs who Need Net Neutrality
WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 20, 2020) – INCOMPAS, the internet and competitive networks association that represents streaming services, edge providers, and small broadband builders, filed reply comments today in the Net Neutrality remand proceeding at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). INCOMPAS challenged comments made by large Internet Service Providers (ISPs) related to broadband competition, interconnection for streaming growth and public safety concerns raised by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
“America’s road to recovery must be paved with access to faster, more affordable broadband,” said Chip Pickering, CEO of INCOMPAS. “More broadband competition drives investment on Main Street and interconnection powers the streaming revolution. Allowing large ISPs to block, slow or throttle internet access and raise prices would spell disaster for our economic recovery.”
INCOMPAS, which lead the Net Neutrality court challenge, recently filed FCC comments addressing the court’s three areas of concern: The impact ending Net Neutrality has on broadband competition (including network access to poles/conduit), public safety and Lifeline services for job seekers.
In its reply comments, INCOMPAS highlights several important points:
Monopoly and duopoly do not equal competition: Over 75% of Americans are stuck in broadband markets controlled by two providers. Plus there is even LESS competition at faster speeds -- such as gigabit service that increases both upload and download times - and is imperative to help more families and small businesses work, learn and recover from COVID-19 economic disruption.
Mobile is not a substitute for fixed: Duh.
Large ISPs have the “means and the motive” to do harm: Merger mania, with large ISPs buying content providers, enables large ISPs to favor and discriminate against other broadband providers and competing streaming services.
Interconnection threat: The streaming revolution is a result of smart interconnection policy. But the large ISPs’ ability to discriminate at the point of interconnection is very real. They have done so in the past, and are simply waiting for merger conditions rules to sunset.
Investment by big ISPs is DOWN, not UP: The facts are stubborn here. The data shows that some large ISPs actually have decreased their broadband investment by billions of dollars. A recent study from George Washington University concludes that the passage and repeal of the net neutrality rules had no meaningful impact on broadband investment. Plus, at least half of the 5.6 million new fiber-connected homes in 2018 were the result of merger conditions.
INCOMPAS, the internet and competitive networks association, is the leading trade group advocating for competition policy across all networks. INCOMPAS represents Internet, streaming, communications and technology companies large and small, advocating for laws and policies that promote competition, innovation and economic development. Learn more at www.incompas.org or follow us on Twitter: @INCOMPAS @ChipPickering